My lovely new Rav wasn't starting right, thought it might be the battery but after checking there was nothing wrong with the battery and all the connections are great sooooo.
First step, acquiring a replacement starter motor, easy from a post on here. Was initially worried at the price of some of the chancers, even GSF wanted several hundred pounds, that's with discounts.
I got the item number. Still current, 221152942647. Eighty quid delivered next day, no exchange fuss etc.
That thread said there is nothing else to remove, pah. Need to be a magician. Anyway, first step is make a coffee (have a smoke if you must).
First real step really is getting the plastic undertray off, cursed things with the nasty clips. Long row of perfectly good 10mm bolts at the bottom of the bumper then your fighting with clips at the sides and rear, the ones you pop the centres out of. 3 really meaty ones at the back. Next, the trim panel at the top front of the engine bay, these clips are truly a joy after the ones under the car. Just press the centre till you hear a click and they lift out. Lift the trim away and put somewhere safe with the clips. Now you can get at the hose clips for the pipe from the intercooler to the throttle body. Just 2 jubilee clips no biggy, put away safe. Might get a couple of drips of black oily yuk after taking it off, be handy with a bit of card or something to avoid laying in it later, go on ask, go on.
People always bang on about disconnecting the battery. Yep same here but the bonus is your going to take it out anyway, completely. Once the battery is out, (no radio code to worry about although it will need retuning). You then need to pull off the battery tray, just a clip good pull and its off. Then undo the cables clipped to the metal base and undo the 4 bolts holding it on, note the earth in the bottom right corner. then once that is out you can remove the support bracket. 2 more bolts for this, (all 12mm).
Did you let your coffee go cold? Only me then.
Now, after re making my coffee, (well quick nuke). You will see the loom is held by some 10mm bolts. Its a squarish plastic thing, you cannot miss it. undo the bolt holding this it will give you enough room to see/get at the top starter bolt.
Now we need to disconnect the starter, the solenoid low tension line has an irritating little clip that you need to press while pulling, sounds simple but you can only get one hand in. Don't force it when you get it right it comes off easily. Pop the cover off the high tension side and undo the nut, keep it safe my new unit didn't have one.
Now the challenge, the starter bolts are a pain to get to and stiff, not tight as such. They have a fine pitch so take a lot of winding and need a bit of ingenuity to get them moving. Start with the bottom one, 17mm spanner, my 'trick' as such to loosen them initially was to put the ring end of my 17mm on the bolt and it leaves JUST enough room to get my 19mm spanner looped on the other end to act as a lever. That got me enough oomf to get it moving. Leave the bottom bolt in with a few threads then undo the top, same trick with the spanner, this bolt goes right through the bell housing. There is a bellhousing bolt close but that is higher and far too easy to get at to be the one your after. On my car its a dull black too. The starter bolts are nice and shiny (eee😊) You will be cursing the top bolt as it OH so slowly winds out. You wont get it out but it moves far enough to remove the starter.
Now your back underneath, (drunk your coffee yet?) Remove the bottom bolt and be ready to catch the starter, don't worry its not coming out the bottom. All that faf removing the battery and its tray, yep. Wasn't for easier access to that top bolt. Going right. Its a bit of a wiggle but it does come, then out the top where the battery was.
Refitting the new unit is as so eloquently put by Haynes, "the reversal of removal procedure". Geitting the bolts started while holding the starter with one hand is a challenge, having a mate handy would make things easier there.
Prob take a couple of hours to get it out and an hour or so to put it back. I started at 7.30 in the evening, (needs must). I was done and washing my hands at half ten.
Boring bit, I did this on my car, a 2007 RAV4.3 2.2 D4-D XT4. Your car may or may not be the same and I'm human. I can make mistakes. This was written to help/inform others not as a litteral how to. Used at your own risk.